This smashed chickpea salad recipe is full of crunchy walnuts, sweet cranberries, and brought together with a creamy dressing. Perfect for eating with crackers, or making a sandwich.
This salad is a play on the traditional chicken salad. You know, the one with lots of shredded chicken, fruit, nuts and that tastes so good when sandwiched between two slices of bread!
Only, this recipe is a clean and healthy plant-based version.
In place of the chicken, we are using chickpeas! These beans are the perfect substitute. Their neutral flavor lets the dressing and add-ins really shine through. Half of the beans get mashed into the dressing for a creamy texture, while the other half are kept whole so you really have something to sink your teeth into.
The normal dressing for this type of salad is mayo based. This heavy and gloopy sauce is switched out for one that is hummus based for a lighter, but still creamy, alternative. The hummus gets whisked with tahini, lemon juice, olive oil and dill, for the perfect creamy touch that really binds the salad together.
Add to that some crunchy walnuts, sweet dried cranberries, plus some fresh celery and scallions. Someone pass me some crackers!
This salad is above and beyond healthier than the traditional chicken version. First, it allows you to squeeze in an extra serving of plants into your diet, while still enjoying your favorite flavors and creamy textures.
Walnuts are one of the healthiest nuts you can eat. One serving contains over 100% of your daily omega 3’s. This is a heart healthy fat that can improve cardiovascular function. Plus, these brain-shaped nuts can boost your mood and increase your metabolism. And the crunch they give to this salad is reason enough to eat up.
More than just another tasty addition, cranberries are full of antioxidants that support a healthy immune system and may help you avoid getting sick. They also prevent cancer and improve digestion. The healthiest varieties are sweetened with juice, rather than sugar, and can be found at many local health food stores.
Ingredients for chickpea salad recipe:
- 2 cans garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
- 2 ribs celery, chopped finely
- 2 scallions, sliced into small rounds
- 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
- 1/3 cup dried cranberries
For the dressing:
- 1/2 cup plain hummus
- 2 tablespoons tahini
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon dried dill
- Pinch salt
- Pinch pepper
Directions step by step to prepare the chickpea salad:
- In a small bowl, whisk together all of the dressing ingredients. Set aside.
- Heat a small pan over medium heat. Add in the walnuts and toast, stirring every few minutes, until the walnuts are golden brown and fragrant. Remove the walnuts from the pan and set aside.
- Add half of the garbanzo beans into a large bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the garbanzo beans.
- Add in the remaining garbanzo beans, celery and scallions. Stir to combine.
- Add in the dressing and stir to coat all of the ingredients.
- Add in the walnuts and cranberries and stir one more time.
- Serve with crackers or as a sandwich.